Pain medicine is a specialist area of anaesthetics. Basic and Intermediate training in Pain Medicine happens as part of the wider anaesthetics training programme. Higher Pain Training is an optional unit essential for all trainees who would like to progress to Advanced Pain Training; the RCoA and Faculty of Pain Medicine recommend that this is the minimum level of competency required for trainees considering a future consultant post with an interest in Acute Pain.
Advanced Pain Training is delivered over a minimum 12 month period in designated multi-disciplinary specialist centres where trainees are expected to undertake a wide variety of training in pain management spanning the full range of pain medicine treatment options/plans. Advanced Pain Training is considered the minimum required for those aiming for a consultant appointment with sessions in pain medicine.
All trainees entering Advanced Pain Training will be required to take the examination (MCQ paper and Structured Oral Examinations) in order to achieve the FFPMRCA:
Recruitment into Higher and Advanced Pain Medicine training posts mostly happens locally, but some centres advertise centrally through NHS Job website (https://www.jobs.nhs.uk). Recruitment to Higher Pain Training posts is much more informal; it is recommended that you contact your Local Pain Medicine Educational Supervisor (LPMES) and Regional Advisor in Pain Medicine (RAPM) to discuss your options and how this would fit into your training programme. In West Midlands, Birmingham and Warwickshire Schools have the resources to offer Advanced Pain Training. Alternatively, some prefer overseas training (https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/careers-training/oope-and-oopt).
A plethora of information on pain training is available at: https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/faculty-of-pain-medicine/training-examination-and-assessment
Trainees interested in advancing their career in pain medicine are advised to liaise with the LPMES to explore different training opportunities.
Dr Shyam Balasubramanian MBBS MD MSc FRCA FFPMRCA
Consultant in Pain Medicine & Anaesthesia, UHCW NHS Trust, Coventry
Regional Advisor in Pain Medicine, West Midlands